Free Press sports writers Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez predict the Lions-Browns game on November 9, 2017.
Did the Browns have a second play not loaded up?
Question: Is there one word that can describe what it meant for the Lions to win and avoid a crushing upset at the hands of the still-winless Browns?
For the 5-4 Lions, the win wasn't pretty, but it did keep them in NFC playoff contention.
What I liked: Until he hurt his ribs early in the fourth quarter, Kizer had his best game of the season.
In his first game since the Browns tried to trade for AJ McCarron, DeShone Kizer was busy showing coach Hue Jackson that he didn't need to call upon an old friend to run his offense effectively.
The Browns drove 85 yards following the second-half kickoff to tie the game at 17.
The Browns came back in the third quarter with touchdowns on back-to-back drives in the third quarter to take a 24-17 lead with 2:23 left in the third. Kizer's sneak failed, and the Browns found that they had a big problem when it did - namely, they were out of timeouts, and nobody seemed to know what to do as time ticked down. And that was a real possibility when the Browns scored on the first possession of the second half to take a 24-17 lead. This game was competitive from the start. Kizer was playing arguably his best game of the season before being forced to the sidelines, having completed 15 of his 24 throws for 178 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Ogbah and Myles Garrett started fast, Kizer looked more comfortable and the Browns were aggressive and successful running the ball. He had run for 20 yards to convert a third down on the drive, and hit tight end Seth DeValve with a 35-yard pass to the 1.
What I didn't like: The end of the first half was a series of clock-management mishaps that saw the Browns blow a chance to tie the game or cut the deficit with a field goal.
Along with Abdullah, the Lions featured a steady diet of running backs on the game-tying drive. Kessler overthrew Tregg by 10 yards, much to the receiver's chagrin. Add the end of the first half and the fact the defense gave up 31 points after starting fast, and it's not tough to see why the Browns lost for the ninth time in nine games.